"To a Lady Who Presented to the Author a Lock of Hair Braided with His Own, and Appointed a Night in December to Meet Him in the Garden"
by George Gordon Lord Byron (1788-1824)



1   These locks, which fondly thus entwine, 
2   In firmer chains our hearts confine, 
3   Than all th' unmeaning protestations 
4   Which swell with nonsense, love orations. 
5   Our love is fix'd, I think we've prov'd it; 
6   Nor time, nor place, nor art have mov'd it; 
7   Then wherefore should we sigh and whine, 
8   With groundless jealousy repine; 
9   With silly whims, and fancies frantic, 
10   Merely to make our love romantic? 
11   Why should you weep, like Lydia Languish , 
12   And fret with self-created anguish? 
13   Or doom the lover you have chosen, 
14   On winter nights to sigh half frozen; 
15   In leafless shades, to sue for pardon, 
16   Only because the scene's a garden? 
17   For gardens seem, by one consent, 
18   (Since Shakespeare set the precedent; 
19   Since Juliet first declar'd her passion) 
20   To form the place of assignation. 
21   Oh! would some modern muse inspire, 
22   And seat her by a sea-coal fire; 
23   Or had the bard at Christmas written, 
24   And laid the scene of love in Britain; 
25   He surely, in commiseration, 
26   Had chang'd the place of declaration. 
27   In Italy, I've no objection, 
28   Warm nights are proper for reflection; 
29   But here our climate is so rigid, 
30   That love itself, is rather frigid: 
31   Think on our chilly situation, 
32   And curb this rage for imitation. 
33   Then let us meet, as oft we've done, 
34   Beneath the influence of the sun; 
35   Or, if at midnight I must meet you, 
36   Within your mansion let me greet you: 
37   There , we can love for hours together, 
38   Much better, in such snowy weather, 
39   Than plac'd in all th' Arcadian groves, 
40   That ever witness'd rural loves; 
41   Then , if my passion fail to please, 
42   Next night I'll be content to freeze; 
43   No more I'll give a loose to laughter, 
44   But curse my fate, for ever after